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Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) has confirmed that he will not complete the Giro d’Italia. The Australian will hunt sprint stages, beginning with stage 1 on Friday, but has no ambitions of making it all the way to Verona on May 29.
The sprinter is set to pull out of the Giro in order to take a break before building towards the Tour de France in July.
“It is not possible to finish the Giro all the way if you also want to be in top form at the start of the Tour de France at the beginning of July,” Ewan said at the press conference on Thursday, according to Wielerflits.
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It’s rare for a sprinter to openly admit that they will not finish a grand tour and that they will leave the race in order to concentrate on their form ahead of other targets. Ewan, however, has only completed two grand tours in eight attempts and his realistic approach to this year’s race fits with his aim of peaking at several more points in the year.
Ewan has not put a precise date on when he will leave Italy but it’s unlikely that he will stick around for the final week. If he wins multiple stages inside the first 10 days of racing he could be a non-starter before the most serious mountain stages.
“When do I leave Italy? I didn’t put an exact date on it, but anyway before the start of the tough last week. Otherwise, you have to dig too deep into your reserves. As soon as I feel that I am getting less, I get out.”
Ewan started last year with the ambition of winning stages in all three grand tours. He won two stages in the Giro before leaving on stage 8 but then crashed out of the Tour de France before taking a win. It’s unclear if he will even race the Vuelta in late summer because of the world championships in Australia later in the year, but for now, his full focus is on the Giro. He comes into the first grand tour of the season on the back of a successful campaign having already won five races.
“Let’s start with Giro and Tour. Suppose I can win a stage in both, we will see if the Vuelta can also fit into my program.”